Despite the considerable attention paid to South Africa in recent years, this text is unique in providing a comprehensive analysis of South Africa's politics through the 1980's. Robert Price argues that the apparent stability of South Africa's apartheid regime has masked a profound political transformation underway since 1975. The work examines how government policy, economic development, domestic opposition, and international actors have gradually but inexorably eroded the foundation of white political power. Price elucidates the dynamic relationship between these factors and their combined role in altering the political substructure underlying South Africa's official political system. He provides a novel framework for assessing the likely mode of political transition in the 1990's and draws lessons from the South African case for our understanding of political transformation worldwide.